Orthostrongylus macrotis (Dikmans, 1931) is a protostrongylid lungworm in wild ungulates from western North America, including mule and Columbia black-tailed deer, pronghorn, and rarely moose and elk. The lack of morphological data for certain developmental stages of O. macrotis and the unresolved taxonomic status of the genus indicate a more detailed morphological characterization of the species is necessary. We provide a detailed description of first-stage larvae (L1) of O. macrotis including morphological, morphometric, and molecular data. Species identity was confirmed based on molecular sequence data from the internal transcribed spacer subunit 2 (ITS-2) and large subunit (28S) rDNA. A fragment of the cytochrome oxidase c subunit 1 (COI) was also sequenced, followed by the determination of genetic distance and phylogenetic analyses. Integrated data describing L1 of O. macrotis contributes to a broader understanding of the parasite fauna of wild ungulates from North America and may be of relevance for a future revision of the genus. Further, we outline information for differentiation among species of North American protostrongylids, with typical spike-tailed L1s, circulating among free-ranging and semi-domestic ungulates.

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